The holiday is over, and here’s some news to bring you right back to down to earth. Or even further down underneath the earth where its apparently pretty smelly. The front page of the Strait Times (海峡都市报) from Fujian province today reports that the groundwater of 90% of Chinese cities is polluted to some degree, and that of around 60% is “severely polluted”. These depressing findings were recently uttered by an official from the China Geological Survey (中国地质调查局) at an international groundwater forum.
Strait Times today also reports on the Weibo river campaign recently launched by Deng Fei on his microblog, and one man who took Deng’s campaign a step further by promising openly to give the head of a city environmental protection office 200,000 yuan if he swam for 20 minutes in a polluted river. Read more
Pollution in Ningbo has apparently been very bad of late, with ubiquitous fog, occasional dust storms and a gloomy dusk hanging over the city like a “layer of cotton yarn”. So the local Modern Express (现代快报) from Zhejiang province decided to try and find out why. The front page of this newspaper today asks “Why has Ningbo’s air quality been so bad of late?” To get some answers, the newspaper turned to an official at the city’s environmental monitoring department, who blamed normal local weather conditions for trapping the dust kicked up by all the construction in the city. Read more
Unmentioned in almost every other newspaper in the country, but right in the middle of the front page of the Ningbo Daily (宁波日报) today is a brief announcement: Ningbo will resolutely not have the PX project.
After protests all of last week against an expansion project at a plant in the city that residents fear will pollute the environment , the paper reports laconically today that, “after further research was carried out”… the project will not go ahead but will be halted to enable further refinement and adjustment of the project based on scientific analysis.”
Ningbo thus now follows in the footsteps of Xiamen, Chengdu, Dalian and Shifang where protests by residents have in recent years resulted in the cancellation of similar plans to build polluting plants. Yet if you read the newspapers in China today, you would not have found the news from Ningbo on any other front page except the Ningbo Daily and one other publication: the Qilu Evening News from Shandong. Read more